If Curtis Granderson can’t find a team to play with in 2020, ESPN has interest in adding him to its baseball broadcasts next season, according to sources.
ESPN has some openings this offseason, though its biggest potential one, “Sunday Night Baseball,” is trending toward staying with Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza for 2020.
Still, David Ross left ESPN to become the manager of the Cubs, while Ryan Howard has chosen not to return after one year, according to sources. If Granderson, the former Yankee and Met, left for broadcasting, he would make much less than the nearly $2 million he earned with the Marlins last season. He has made $110 million in his career, according to information compiled by BaseballReference.com.
Granderson, 38, could potentially do some games and studio work. If Granderson waits until spring training to decide whether to play, the timing could be a bit tight, though not necessarily a deal breaker.
ESPN recently re-signed Eduardo Perez and Tim Kurkjian to new deals. Perez was in the running for the Mets’ manager job that went to Carlos Beltran.
As far as the “Sunday Night Baseball” crew, ESPN is leaning toward sticking with Vasgersian, Rodriguez and Mendoza on its premiere broadcast. Vasgersian and Rodriguez have one more year left on their contracts. Mendoza signed a new deal last year. She also serves as a senior advisor for the Mets.
The network could have more clarity about its future with baseball a year from now, as it may do a new deal and possibly swipe TBS’ playoff package that includes a League Championship Series, an event ESPN has never owned.
It also might combine with ABC under the Disney umbrella for such a package.
It is clear that ESPN wants to build around A-Rod going forward, but it has examined if it could get more out of him with a combination other than Vasgersian and Mendoza.
As of now, they are sticking with the trio, though it is not 100 percent set just yet.
Clicker Consulting: Michael Strahan has become a big post-football star, but he is out of position hosting Fox’s Thursday night studio show.
Strahan is a shooting guard playing point, which makes the show feel disjointed from the beginning. Strahan does have hosting experience with “Good Morning America” and a game show, but those spots are not in his expertise of football.
Over two years, Strahan has gotten a little better, but it just isn’t the right fit.
Someone like Charissa Thompson, who host Fox’s pre-pregame show on Sundays, would make more sense. If Fox still wanted to go a bit unconventional, moving Peter Schrager over from information man to host could be an option.
Meanwhile, Fox should reevaluate its comedy routines. They are hard to do, which was proven true by Vince Wilfork in the first year and Cousin Sal this season.
Fox was very smart in how it built its “Big Noon Kickoff” college football studio, which ended the year in the ratings conversation with ESPN’s legendary “College Football GameDay.”
Thursday Night feels bigger with its better games and Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Now Fox should retool its studio show. Fox has its final Thursday nighter this week with Jets-Ravens.
20/20 Update: Word is WFAN does plan on replacing Mike Francesa, but it still doesn’t have a team in place with the next book starting in a little more than three weeks.
As The Post has previously reported, Evan Roberts is one choice for afternoons. The favorite to join him is Joe Benigno, though Maggie Gray is also a possibility.
Raises and potential extensions have to be worked out, which could impact the combinations and maybe even blow up the whole plan. All three are currently entering 2020 on the final year of their deals.
In middays, Marc Malusis — who previously worked with Gray — and John Jastremski are in the mix.
Congrats: Nick Cafardo was voted into the writer’s section of the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Cafardo is the 71st recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. Cafardo was a longtime, respected baseball writer for the Boston Globe. He died suddenly during spring training this year at the age of 62.
He was respected in baseball clubhouses for not only how he wrote, but for how he treated people. His son, Ben, is one of ESPN’s main media relations people on baseball and basketball.